After three consecutive billion-dollar weeks, the pace slowed, with just $381 million in burdens. Regulators imposed $28 million in annualized costs against $7 million in benefits and more than 450,000 paperwork burden hours. The Department of Transportation (DOT) led all other agencies in costs this week. The per capita regulatory burden for 2015 is $490.
After years of acrimonious fights between industry, states, environmentalists, and the administration, EPA has issued final ozone standards. The revised measure lowers the current threshold from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. Environmentalists had called for a figure as low as 60, which would have cost up to $39 billion. Today’s final rule will impose “just” $1.4 billion in annual costs, exclusive of California.
The September jobs report was a huge miss: only 142,000 jobs, downward revisions to July and August jobs, and an unchanged unemployment rate. The only real job growth was concentrated in health care (not necessarily good news), information services, and business services. Employment in goods producing industries declined.
It is that time of month again; this morning the Labor Department will release the payroll report for September. There is no reason to expect any real drama or change.
For over 50 years, leaders from both parties in Congress and the White House have worked together to enact an annual defense policy bill. This week, House and Senate negotiators released the conference report of the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) NDAA and will vote on the final version in the coming days.
Whew. No government shutdown. The Senate passed a funding bill yesterday morning, the House imposed “martial law” and sent it to the president’s desk later in the day. Now comes the hard part.
One of the most important functions of the Export-Import Bank was to provide American companies with lines of credit for projects to be completed in other countries. These lines of credit were a crucial part of doing international business and often were an important factor in enabling Ex-Im-backed companies to win these project contracts. Indeed, in 27 countries Ex-Im support is essential because these countries require support from an export credit agency before they will even consider a bid. Without Ex-Im support, American companies are forced to either completely forego all projects in any of those countries or move jobs to countries that do have export credit agencies.
This rule will save states and businesses more than $150 million during the next decade and cut almost 200,000 paperwork hours. Although the monetary savings aren’t as great as the proposed version, the final rule is a welcome respite in what has become a steady stream of high-priced regulations.
A ban on Internet access taxes is set to expire on October 1. If an extension is not signed into law then states might squeeze an additional $16.4 billion from consumers by taxing the Internet. Earlier this year, the House has passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA) to permanently extend the ban on taxing Internet access. The bill now awaits Senate action. The American Action Forum previously found that state and local governments could place consumers on the hook for billions in new taxes. The table below details the potential costs if states choose to tax Internet access at their current wireless rate.